There are so many people who work in dangerous environments every single day of their lives. Although most of the dangerous workplaces do everything they can do ensure their employees are safe, sometimes accidents do happen. However, those who are injured in the workplace need to be sure they actually have a case against their employer if they are looking to take legal action against them. Most employers are covered by workers’ compensation laws that prevent them from being sued for personal injury–but there are exceptions. There are so many things that need to be considered in these cases such as who was actually responsible, what really happened, and if the injury was an accident that happened or because of an injury that had been developing over the course of a few years, such as a slipped disc.
First and foremost, it’s important to think about how you sustained your workplace injury before you start talking to a lawyer. If you were doing something that you knew you weren’t supposed to be, then you likely don’t have a case. If there were signs posted saying for you to not touch a set of live wires and you did it anyway, then your employer cannot be held liable for your mistake. However, if the live wires were not properly labeled and nobody in the worksite knew anything about the wires being live, then you may be able to take legal action against your employer.
The main thing that you need to consider is if you were injured as a result of your own negligence or because your employer did something wrong/intentional. If you are unsure about what actually caused your injuries, then speak with a lawyer and explain to them what happened. A professional personal injury lawyer will be able to figure out just how your injury occurred and who was responsible.
Finding Who Was Responsible
Another thing that’s important to take into consideration is who was actually at fault for the accident. For example, if you were operating a piece of equipment that was faulty and it happened to malfunction and hurt you, it’s probably not your employer’s fault. In this instance, it’s most likely the manufacturing company that produced the equipment you were using who caused you to get hurt. You would be taking legal action against that company in this scenario as opposed to your employer.
There are also other scenarios where people were harmed by toxic substances at their job because their employer did not make them aware of the hazardous chemicals. People who are dealing with this situation may be able to bring a toxic tort lawsuit against their employer. Again, though, if the employer was careful to mention to everybody just how toxic the substance was and how to properly handle it, but you didn’t listen, then they can’t be held responsible for your injuries.
What About Workers’ Compensation?
You may be wondering just how workers’ compensation plays into this scenario. You should not get workers’ compensation confused with a personal injury case against your employer. A workers’ compensation claim is for when you are injured on the job, regardless of whose fault it was. An on-site injury is enough for you to file a claim with worker’s comp, even if it was from an existing condition that you had. For example, if your back gave out at work and it was discovered you had a herniated disc, which is a problem that develops over time, you can still file for workers’ compensation and get money to help you while you’re out of work.
The main difference between workers’ comp claims and a personal injury lawsuit against your employer is the employer’s negligence or intentional actions. Also, if your employer didn’t have workers’ compensation coverage, you could sue them for any injuries you sustained while at work. All employees have the right to work in a safe environment, even if they are working in a dangerous place and around dangerous chemicals. What this means is that the employer has a legal obligation to warn their employees of the dangers they are going to face in the workplace, and also to educate them on how to work in the hazardous conditions without sustaining an injury. If your employer failed to educate you on how to be safe in the hazardous conditions or was intentionally trying to cause you harm, then you will likely have a personal injury case that you can bring to court.
What to Do About Your Injury
After learning about all of this, you may realize that you do have a case that you can bring to court. If you feel that’s the situation you’re in, then you need to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to see what they can do for you. Your lawyer will be able to investigate your work conditions and speak with other employees at your job to find out where your employer went wrong. If the lawyer interviews five people that you worked with and finds out that all of them had no clue they were working with a dangerous chemical that could cause them harm, then you are likely going to have a solid case. You could sue your employer to get compensation for any physical injuries you sustained, the medical bills, the pain and suffering you had to endure, and likely many other things–depending on your particular case.
However, if a lawyer says that you do not have a case that can be brought against your employer, then you may be better off simply filing a workers’ compensation claim. This way, you will still get some money to help you through your tough time and you won’t have to worry about going to court and dealing with a complicated case that you would likely end up losing anyway.
If you have recently been injured at work and live in the state of Arizona, get in touch with Tobler Law. This firm has experienced professionals who are familiar with all aspects of the law regarding workplace injuries. It’s good to do this because there are instances where employers seemingly didn’t care about their employees being hurt, and a judge may order them to change their ways or he/she could revoke your employer’s business license; you could potentially prevent other people from getting injured by a careless employer.